How long do wild rabbits live?

Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Admin

If you’ve ever wondered about wild rabbit’s longevity, then this article is for you. So how long do wild rabbits live? These are various factors that come into play when it comes to a wild rabbit’s life expectancy. They include the rabbit species, predation, health, and habitat, among other environmental or physical conditions.


Wild rabbit’s lifespan

We have 7 different species of wild rabbits namely, cottontails, European, brush, pygmy, swamp, marsh, and volcano rabbits. All have varying life expectancies, for instance, the cottontail species has an average life expectancy of 1 to 2 years. The European rabbit’s average lifespan is 2 to 9 years, the brush rabbits 2 to 6 years, pygmy 3 to 5 years, Swamp rabbits 2 to 9 years, Marsh 1 to 4 years, and Volcano rabbits 7 to 9 years. In a nutshell, we can say that wild rabbits collectively have a life expectancy of 2 to 9 years.

Factors affecting a wild rabbit’s life expectancy

Regardless of the wild rabbit species, below are some of the factors that may affect their longevity in the long run.


Species variation

As pointed out earlier, the different wild rabbit species have different lifespans. Cottontails, the only solitary species have the shortest life expectancy of 1 to 2 years, in comparison to the other 6 remaining wild rabbit species. In other words, all factors are constant, and each species has a different life expectancy when compared to its counterpart.



The other factor that affects wild rabbit’s longevity is the number of predators in their environment. Considering that wild rabbits are generally at the bottom of the food chain, they’re essentially on the menu of most animals. They include snakes, hawks, owls, coyotes, foxes, and wolves among other predators. Needless to say the more predators in a certain area, the less likely wild rabbits are to have a longer life span.



Outbreaks of rabbit diseases such as Rabbit Viral hemorrhagic disease, Myxomatosis, Tularemia, etc., can contribute immensely to the demise of wild rabbits. In other words, bunnies in the wild are susceptible to these contagious diseases with a high mortality rate.



A wild rabbit’s environment as a whole is another contributing factor to how long they live. Is the climate hospitable? Is there enough vegetation to forage? A wild rabbit in a harsh environment with extreme weather conditions and scarcity of food is generally most likely to have a shorter lifespan than those in a conducive habitat.


Human impact

Human activity is also a great determining factor in how long a wild rabbit may live. For instance, urbanization, hunting rabbits for sports or clearing virgin land for agricultural purposes, and using pesticides and chemicals contribute to the decline of wild rabbit’s life expectancy.



Wild rabbits have a life expectancy of  2 to 9 years if we include all seven wild rabbit species. Cottontails essentially have the shortest lifespan of between 1 to 2 years, while the European, swamp, and marsh wild rabbits have a life expectancy ranging from 2 to 9 years.


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